Silicon rumour-mill says Avago's next acquisition target is Broadcom

Chip biz shopping sprees continue

Shopaholic Avago Technologies is reportedly in talks to acquire Broadcom, in an acquisition that would significantly boost its presence in the high-end smartphone space.

First reported behind The Wall Street Journal's paywall, the talks are attributed to the usual “people familiar with the matter”.

Reuters says the deal could be announced as early as this week, and notes Avago's market capitalisation, at US$36 billion, is only a snip ahead of Broadcom's $34 billion.

Reuters adds that Avago has been waving its cash and scrip around in various quarters, bidding first for Freescale Semiconductor (slurped by NXP Semiconductors for $11.8 billion) and also approaching Xilinx, Renesas Electronics and Maxim Integrated Products.

After exiting the baseband modem business last year, Broadcom has been pitching the next iterations of its Ethernet switch silicon, while at the same time carving out its bit of the Internet of Things pie.

Avago has been a serial buyer and sometimes seller of chip businesses for some time. In 2007 it bought Infineon to get into the fibre transceiver business, and in 2013 it bought LSI Technologies for $6.6 billion, hiving off the LSI networking arm to Intel in 2014 for $650 million and its flash business to Seagate for $450 million.

The once-HP Semiconductor Avago left its roots behind back when HP split out its founding business, the instruments operation, to create Agilent in 1999, and the chip business was spun off into a separate company in 2005. ®

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